Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Small businesses shine at EU Business Awards for the Environment

© EU Environment

The winners of the European Business Awards for the Environment 2014/2015 were announced in Lyon on the evening of December 1st, and small businesses were among their ranks.

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, presented the awards to five different European enterprises in an evening ceremony. While large companies won in three of the five categories (“Management”, “Process”, and “International Business Cooperation”), small companies climbed to the top of the podium in two categories: “Product and Services” and “Business and Biodiversity”.

EcoNation, a small Belgian business, won in the “Product and Services” category with the LightCatcher project. The aim of this project is to provide a sustainable industrial daylight solution by using motorized mirrors and lenses to enhance the light captured through small openings in the roof. For this award, products and services were evaluated based on innovation, environmental benefit, social benefit, economic benefit, commitment, and replication potential.

The “Business and Biodiversity” Award went to the micro entreprise Red Eléctrica de España, the transmission agent and operator of the Spanish electricity system. The micro business was applauded for its use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to ensure the avoidance of the flight paths of 44 bird species during the building and repair of transmission lines. The evaluation criteria for this award were the importance of the ecosystem/habitat/species, the extensiveness of the impact, the contribution of the action to the protection and improvement of biodiversity in a broader context, and the sustainability of the protection of biodiversity.

While these two small businesses won awards, seven others were nominated across all five categories. Two of them are featured on the GreenEcoNet platform for green European SMEs:

  • Aus Design was nominated for the International Business Cooperation Award for its Up-Shirt project. Read more about the Up Shirt here.
  • Andromède Océanologie was nominated for the Business and Biodiversity Award for their Donia mobile application. Read more about the Donia app here.


Press release:

Brochure (with descriptions of the winners and nominees):